Tensions between demonstrators and police in Paris: thousands of people in the streets for freedom and against vaccination.
Eva Deschamps / July 25, 2021
With the cries of Freedom, freedom!, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of France on Saturday afternoon, against the extension of the health pass and the obligatory vaccination for certain professions, noted journalists of the AFP. Several thousands of people, divided in at least three gatherings, began to demonstrate in the early afternoon in Paris.
Essentially made up of yellow vests, a first procession started shortly after 2:00 pmfrom the Place de la Bastille, bound for the Porte de Champerret (XVIIe). On the way, sporadic incidents have opposed motorcycle police and demonstrators.
On the Trocadero square (XVIth district), several thousand people, rarely masked, gathered at the call of Florian Philippot. You are thousands, said the former number 2 of the National Rally (RN, extreme right), between two Marseillaise. Finally, a third procession, composed of a few hundred people left the area around the Council of State, in the 1st arrondissement, bound for the Place des Invalides.
The protests come as a very large majority of French people (76%) approve of President Emmanuel Macron's decision to make vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers and other professions, with penalties attached, according to an Elabe poll for BFMTV on July 13.
The extension of the health pass (complete vaccination or recent negative test to access certain events) also receives a majority of approvals. Outside of Paris, rallies are taking place in more than a hundred cities in France.
In Marseille, thousands of people, all generations, marched in a good-natured atmosphere with cries of Freedom, Freedom or Macron, your pass, we do not want. At least a dozen rallies are taking place in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Demonstrations are underway in particular in Valence where they are several thousand, in Lyon, in Auxerre where several hundred people are marching, in Bourg-en-Bresse, in Grenoble.
In the Grand Est region, some 4,000 people were demonstrating, according to the police. Last Saturday, more than 110,000 people demonstrated throughout France against vaccination, dictatorship or the health pass, including 18,000 in Paris divided into several processions and 96,000 in the rest of the country, according to the Ministry of the Interior.